The life expectancy of a NYC umbrella is tragically short. I’ve blogged about this before.
Even though I’m pretty used to my umbrella blowing backwards on me I still always feel embarrassed when it happens. I don’t know why, really. It’s not something *I* did to make it flip inside out. I can’t control the strength of wind as it whips through the streets and I certainly can’t escape it. The very first time it happened I was mortified, scrambling to shake it back into place and glancing around to see who was staring, pointing and laughing at the new, wet New Yorker. (Similar reaction = the first time I stood too close to the street and got splashed by a speedy taxi cab. Live and learn.)
But maybe killing umbrellas is just the city’s way of keeping the UmbrellaUmbrellaUmbrella guys employed. Kinda like when trees are burned to promote new growth. The circle of life.
I am now a backwards umbrella pro. I calmly poke it in the direction of the wind and it pops right back into shape. Still, I make sure I giggle grandly or roll my eyes at myself, just in case someone is watching they’ll know I’m in complete control of the situation. Mmmhmm.
I do feel sad for the umbrellas that die before their time. And I feel even sadder for the owners who have to walk around getting wet until new ones are found. I would probably stop and stare and laugh, but I can’t see much out from under my own umbrella.